• Increase font size
  • Decrease font size
  • Default font size
Home News Organizing Updates Zelaya Returns
Zelaya Returns PDF Print E-mail

Father Roy Bourgeois and Manuel ZelayaClick here for the coverage of Manuel Zelaya's return by Democracy Now
To isten to Amy Goodman's interview with Father Roy Bourgeois in Managua click here.

zelaya returns

Almost two years after having been forced into exile by SOA graduates who overthrew the democratically elected government of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya has returned to Honduras.

Zelaya arrived by plane from Nicaragua together with a small group of human rights advocates and political leaders, including SOA Watch's Lisa Sullivan and SOA Watch founder Father Roy Bourgeois. They were greeted by tens of thousands of supporters at the airport. SOA Watch has stood with the resistance to the coup since day one of the coup. We join in the joy of the people of Honduras and reaffirm our commitment to continue to support and accompany the Honduran social movements in their struggle for justice.

by Annie Bird: On July 5, 2009 Hondurans massively marched on the airport in the hope of welcoming their president in his first frustrated attempt to return to Honduras after the coup. A young protester was shot and killed by the military during that protest, and the place where he was killed has been popularly renamed in his honor, the “Plaza Isais Obed Murillo.”

Beginning yesterday afternoon Hondurans began arriving, the Plaza looked like a fair, with an atmosphere of a tremendous celebration. Today, two hours before Zelaya’s 11am’s scheduled arrival, when he will greet the resistance movement from a stage in the Plaza, the Plaza and all the streets leading into the Plaza, are filled with thousands of people streaming into the area from all parts of Honduras. The presence is massive, and atmosphere of celebration.

Though many were disappointed that the agreement which facilitated his return after two failed return attempts did not provide for stronger conditions to protect human rights, the resistance movement is happy and expectant with the return of Zelaya.

While there are have been reports of buses’ being stopped and police posts stopping those trying to arrive, it has not been the massive repression seen in other moments. Given the international attention and the upcoming June 1 vote for the return of Honduras to the OAS, it is generally expected that not be marred today’s celebration will not be marred by heavy repression.

However, it is feared that as Honduras “normalizes ” in the eyes of the international community, and the movement for a new constitution gains an increasingly stronger foothold with the presence of Mel Zelaya, the already terrible human rights crisis will increase.

But today Hondurans are celebrating the return of the president, their leader, their companero, their comandante, Mel Zelaya.

Annie Bird: 011-504-9938-9599
Karen Spring: 011-504-9507-3835


Contact us

SOA Watch
733 Euclid Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

phone: 202-234-3440
email: info@soaw.org